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  Tackle Talk  Rods & Reels

Fishing Line

The ankle bone's connected to the shin bone... or in this case the hook is connected to the fishing line. If the hook can get snagged and blunted, then the line can get nicked and frayed, too. And don't forget twisting. Nicks, abrasions and twist all reduce the test strength of your line. If twisted, letting the line play out behind a moving boat is supposed to set it right. It's kind of like dangling your phone cord to work the twists out. If the line has been on the spool and has developed memory, soaking it in warm water is supposed to help. Tying it to a stationary object and gently pulling it straight might also make it more forgetful. You could replace it, of course. While on the water, running the first few feet of line through your fingers or between your lips will help detect nicks and abrasion. Knots also affect the strength of your line.

The diameter of a line can be important in several ways. Generally the smaller the diameter the better, so long as other properties such as castability, strength and resistance to abrasion are satisfactory. With smaller diameter lines, more line can be spooled onto the reel, giving the fisherman additional capacity to fight a fish. Secondly, smaller diameter lines generally are less visible to fish when in the water. Line diameter can also affect the castability of the line. Finally, when using lures, a smaller diameter line will generally yield a better "action" as the lure is worked through the water.

Fishing lines are exposed to a constant barrage of abrasive materials (stumps, weeds, brush, grass, rocks, line guides, etc.) which can cause small nicks in the line. A line's ability to withstand those nicks determines how well it will hold up under the pressure of fighting a fish.

Limpness in a fishing line can affect a number of characteristics. Lines that retain more of their original length are generally much easier to cast with less coiling or "memory." They are also much easier to handle and manage when tying knots, and they can provide for a better, more realistic presentation of lures.

Castability can be described as how fast and easy a line comes off of the spool when casting. The faster the line comes off, the easier it is to cast with greater accuracy control. In general, a fisherman wants a line that comes off the spool quickly without binding or dragging through the reel and rod guides. If the line freely flows off of the spool, the fisherman will be able to quickly adjust his "accuracy" to the performance of the line. The result is longer, more accurate casts.

Fishing lines now a days come in all brands, shapes, sizes, thicknesses, colors and strengths. There are 3 brands of lines I normally use, those being Platypus Pre-Test, Platypuss Platinum and Maxima. Selection is usually determined by how deep my pockets are, as these lines exhibit similar properties, and I have had great success with all of them. Platypus offers a line that has been pre-tested for its braking strain, hence guaranteeing the load on the line as to what's specified on the spool. Maxima has the advantage of offering a smaller diametre line for the same poundage as compared to other lines with the same braking strain. Some of the properties that these lines have to offer are:

Abrasion Resistance - they possess a much higher resistance to breaking due to nicks in the line. These lines will resist breaking longer under the worst conditions, such as rubbing against rocks, stumps and other underwater structure.

Thin Diameter - A line with a small diameter does many things. It allows an angler's lure to dive deeper, as there is less resistance as the line cuts through the water. Because there is less hindrance from the line, lures will perform more accurately with their desired action.

High Knot Strength - Most line breaks occur at the knot. In fact, no matter how strong the line is, tying a knot in it can weaken the line by as much as 50%. These lines have the least loss of strength at the knot, when compared to other monofilaments. This is due to the dramatic tensile strength advantage that line technology provides.

Light, Limp, Supple - It's supple and hangs limp off the spool. Without tension and coiliness, the limp line passes through the rod guides unrestricted and smoothly. Fishermen have noted that they can cast a bait with the line up to 30% farther than with conventional monofilament.

High Impact Resistance - Similarly, just as line technology enhances tensile strength, so does it affect shock or impact resistance. This advantage provides one the ability to use smaller diameter lines, gaining obvious advantages, without the loss of strength or control.

Low Spool Memory - Most conventional nylon lines are so stiff with tension that they habitually take on the rounded form of the reel spool. This is known as "spool memory" and is responsible for most backlashes and "bird nests" in overhead reels, and for the "slinky coiling" of spinning reels. With monofilament lines, spool memory is reduced. A few casts and retrieves will straighten out a monofilament line, even if it's been stored on the reel for long periods.

Virtual Invisibility - Monofilament line almost disappears once placed underwater. This is called the "mirror effect." Because the surface of the line is highly polished, it acts as a mirror, reflecting its surroundings and blending in.

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